#Arachne5 thank-you’s: Musicians

With the 5th Anniversary celebrations heading into view I was thinking about the thank you speech, and like the Oscars it is in danger of going on, and on. And on. So I thought I’d blog it instead, a section at a time.

What does a publisher need with musicians? Well, our regular events Solstice Shorts Festival (always), and The Story Sessions (usually), some of our launches and some of our writing workshops have included music – always acoustic, often folk, sometimes original, mostly but not exclusively songs, because we love the narrative power of a song.

Our most frequent collaborators are Ian Kennedy and Sarah Lloyd who have performed in just about every capacity we offer them.

 

Next most regular must be Annalie Wilson, who also reads for us and was our artist in residence for the last four Story Sessions..

Annalie Wilson

 

After that it’s our choir friends, in various guises, (there’s a lot of cross-over in choirs!) most frequently as Summer All Year Long, but also Vocal Chords and Raise the Roof

Will Evererett singing with Summer all Year Long

Summer All Year Long

© Ben Mueller-Brown benhasphotos.wordpress.com

Vocal Chords at WGL

more vocal chords (by Katy Darby)

Vocal Chords (by Katy Darby)

Vocal Chords Wassailing

For Solstice Shorts we really push the boat out, with (sometimes) music written for the occasion AND multiple musicians: Shadrack Tye, Pepper & Shepherd, Rosemary Lippard, Melanie Harrold, Juliet Desailly, Peter Thomas & Piotr Jordan (playing original music by Zac Gvirtzman), plus everyone already mentioned!

And finally… Lester Simpson, who runs singing workshops for us once or twice a year and teaches us amazing songs that find their way into our events, and the repetoire of choirs all over London; and has become a friend along the way.

Will there be music at the Anniversary celebrations on the 8th September? Of course there will! Book your free ticket now!

Songs for Midsummer Video Raise the Roof

Video

If Music be the food of love, play on…

The lovely Raise the Roof community choir brought us some songs ancient and modern to celebrate Shakespeare

Ancient: Elizabethan ‘anti-austerity songs’ a medley of songs from Shakespeare’s day about trying to have a good time with an empty purse.

Fairly Modern: Juliet Desailly’s setting of Shakespeare’s Full Fathom Five sung in public for the first time in 40 years, apparently!

Very Modern: Kirsty Martin’s setting of words from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (and Hamlet) We Intend for Your Delight written especially for the occasion.

Midsummer Night in the Garden

tempest headerIt cannot have escaped the notice of most people that it is 400 years since Shakespeare  shuffled off this mortal coil. There’s been a lot of celebrating, and not to be outdone, we are joining in, not on his birthday, not on his death day, but at Midsummer. You know how we like a solstice.

manor lib showing lawnThe nice people at Lewisham Libraries are hosting us for an event on Tuesday 21st June at 7:30 on the front lawn of Manor House Library Old Road, SE13 5SY (with performances on the front steps) or inside in the Baring room if the weather is unseasonable.   Please  phone the library on  0208 314 7794 to book a place, and to book a seat  for those who genuinely need one. You are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket to spread on the lawn. (If it rains we will be inside)IMG_0867
IMG_0872 Shakespeare’s great skill was in telling an old story in a new way, so we are shamelessly tearing a leaf from his folio. We have poetry, story, and song, based on Shakespeare’s own work, the characters he invented, and his life.
Songs from Raise the Roof and from Rachel Bellman and Elizabeth Charlesworth performed by Rosalyn Miller, Toby Hine and Mark Wainwright.

Poems from Pat Tompkins, Alison Absolute, Shakespeare himself, Kim Russell, Sarah Lawson, Elinor Brooks and Jennifer A McGowan, a story from Lucy Ribchester, and from Carolyn Eden,  an award-winning sketch based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

For the sketch and where the author can’t make it, we have actors: Big thanks to Katy Darby, Carrie Cohen,  Saul Reichlin, Cliff Chapman and Mike Eden
Discover what’s in a name, what you get when (almost) the complete works of Mr Shakespeare are reduced to Haiku, five of Shakespeare’s women get their own poem, as does his mother, Juliet’s neighbour makes a complaint, one of Shakespeare’s sonnets gets turned on its head, the Illyria of Twelfth Night resurfaces in a story of modern-day refugees and find out where (and from whom) young Will stole his best lines. Oh and what Rosalind and Orlando’s wooing sounds like set to music.

We are crowdfunding to pay the performers. If you would like to contribute you can do so here.

0994_JenMcGowan_fullElinor Brookskim russellSarah Lawson

kirsty-homelucy ribchesterKaty portrait 1 (Jon Cartwright)

Carrie Cohen reading FROG

Carrie Cohen

Saul Rechlin

Saul Reichlin

midsummer flier copy

Arachne Press Book Covers – see the original design

Karen Keogh whose print forms the cover for London Lies, and Gail Brodholt, who is responsible for the cover of forthcoming Stations, are both exhibiting at The Bankside Gallery until 30th September (near Tate Modern).

Karen’s City Skyscape II is part of the exhibition, so you can see what the original looks like without all those words on it.

If you wander up today, you can also take in the Thames Festival, where the wonderful Raise the Roof and many other singing friends will be singing with several hundred others at Sing for Water, at the Scoop at around 2pm, to raise money for WaterAid. This annual concert is simply stunning, and worth donating your spare change to, or rather more if you are so minded.